A Fight For Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic

Joanna is dazed and confused - what has happened, why is he doing this?

A fight for Life.

Joanna’s eyes were wide, she didn’t blink, she wanted to convey a message she couldn’t say.  Her eyes searched his face, begging, pleading.  But still he refused to make eye contact, instead staring straight through her. 

Mike new what she was up to, trying to make him feel guilty. “I’m sorry,” he said in an unapologetic tone “I have to do this.” 


Joanna couldn’t reply, she slumped back in the hard chair, tears pricked her eyes.  Oh my god – this is it, she thought, I’m going to die!  The tears kept coming but the only sound she could make was a long moan.  She was distraught, the realisation that this man was going to kill her was too much to bear.  She rocked back and forth on the chair, tears streaming, desperately trying to scream.


Mike rushed to her side – the chair was banging on the floor, she was making far too much noise, he slapped her hard across the face.  “Shut up you stupid bitch!” he hissed.  Joanna stopped, her check smarting from the slap.  She needed to decide; make as much noise as she could in the vain hope someone would hear her, but run the risk of angering her captor further.  Or be silent and stay strong in the hope that she could get to him somehow, trigger his conscience.


Satisfied she wasn’t going to create any more disturbance, Mike wandered over to the filthy window.  The world outside was asleep, dawn still an hour or so away, the disused warehouses were bathed in a dull grey with the occasional black shadow cast by the clouded moon.  The stillness and darkness pleased him, it meant he could carry out his plan in his own time.


Joanna studied him – who was this man, what did he want with her?  He looked vaguely familiar but in her confused state of mind she couldn’t place him. He could be any number of people, she thought, she met a lot in her line of work.  She thought back to the minutes before it all happened.  She was heading home after a busy night, her colleagues warned her not to walk home alone but she wouldn’t hear of it, she felt confident around these streets and knew them like the back of her hand.  Oh god! How she regretted that decision.


She was almost home when a car pulled up beside her.  Instinct told her this wasn’t someone asking for directions.  The hairs on the back of her neck stood up and her heart began to race, she quickened her step.  The car rolled along next to her, she glanced at the driver in the vain hope it was someone she knew, but the windows were tinted, obscuring her view.  The car stopped and the driver casually climbed out, Joanna, a few paces in front.  She could see her lovely cosy flat where her little pup, Rosie was waiting.  The thought of safety propelled her into a run, she willed herself to go faster but it felt as though she was running through quicksand.  Panic stricken, she looked back, what a stupid mistake to make.  With no chance to scream he wrestled her to the ground, she was no match for his powerful build, her slight frame crushed by his weight.  With one hand over her mouth he dragged Joanna to the car.  She tried to bite him, kick him, but none her self defence training worked, he was like a machine.


He bundled her onto the backseat and swiftly bound and gagged her.  Joanna had no thoughts in her head, just pure terror.  She’d been in dodgy situations on a few occasions but never had she felt so utterly petrified. 


They pulled up to the deserted industrial estate, this was as bleak as it got and there was no better place for a crime.  Run down empty buildings provided dark corners for sinister goings on, the dilapidated buildings death traps in their own right regardless of the appalling activities happening within their walls.  In fact, the estate itself was so bad even the homeless, petty criminals and drug users rarely came near.  Joanna knew as he pulled her from the car that it would be nothing short of a miracle for someone to find her.


And now here she was, tied to a chair in a foul smelling room.  Joanna took in her surroundings and peered into the darkness of the damp room. It was completely bare, aside from the chair she was sitting on and another one over in the corner with what looked like some old rope on it.  Questions whizzed round her aching brain, what was he going to do to her?  Was she being held hostage?  What did he want?  And then she wondered if anyone noticed she was missing yet, were they out looking for her?  She started to whimper again, her body hurt, the tape over her mouth pulling at the tiny hairs on her face, the rope around her wrists and ankles so tight making her fingers and toes numb.


Mike sighed. “For god’s sake woman, shut up!” I’m trying to think, he added, to himself.  He didn’t think he was a bad person – not really, but…she made him so angry, she had to pay, he owed it to his dad.  His father, his idol, Mike hadn’t seen much of him when he was growing up, but his presence was always felt and he knew he was an important and respected man.  His mother used to say that if people didn’t know who Michael Compton Senior was, then they weren’t worth knowing.


Mike knew he wanted to be part of his father’s business and his dad was more than happy for Mike to follow in his footsteps, he was pleased to have someone he could trust to hand over the reins one day.  As they spent more time together, they became closer and had a bond only a father and son could have.  That’s why, this day, which Mike had waited over a year for, was so important.


A noise below startled them both.  “What the hell was that?” Mike whispered, clearly a little edgy.  Joanna’s eyes widened, had someone found her?  Oh please god please, someone help me, she desperately tried to say, but only a muffled noise came out.  Mike shot her a look “just you shut up” he warned.  “Nobody knows you’re here and no one’s coming to your rescue” he smirked.  “It’s probably the wind knocked something over, I’m going to have a look, don’t go anywhere” he added sarcastically.


Now was her opportunity, she had to break free. Joanna’s heart raced as she frantically tried to wriggle her hands out of the rope.  She had one eye on the door whilst beads of sweat started to form on her brow.  Her wrists started to bleed – damn! The rope was so tight.  Joanna continued her struggle, perspiration poured off of her stinging her eyes, she let out a scream of frustration. Shocked at how loud it was, Joanna realised the tape over her mouth was starting to come loose – she tried to use her shoulder to peel the tape back some more, freeing her mouth, it worked!  Her mouth free, she let out an almighty scream. “Help me, somebody help me please!”


She knew the consequences of screaming out – her captor was back in the room in seconds, but she didn’t care, this was her chance, someone must have heard.


Mike was stunned, how had she managed that?  He was panicking now – he couldn’t find out what the noise was, and now she was making all this racket, he worried time was running out.  “Right” he said far more confidently then he felt.  “Guess we’re going to have to do this sooner then I planned, but first let’s shut you up.”

“No, no, please no!” Joanna begged.  “Why are you doing this? We can talk about it, please don’t hurt me.”  Mike silenced her.  Now he had to get them both ready.


The rope was ready, the chairs were in place.  Mike yanked Joanna into a standing position as she started to come round, the tape was back over her mouth.  Dazed, she took in the scene before her – two nooses swung menacingly from the metal roof supports, directly beneath; the chair she’d been sitting on and another.  She struggled as Mike pushed her to stand on the chair, she fell to the floor cracking her face and making her nose bleed.  The pain ripped through her, but still she kept on fighting – he would not make her do this.


The struggle was not what Mike had expected, he needed her conscious to experience the ordeal, but it was proving difficult to get her in position.  Joanna fell again, this time on the back of her head making her feel sick and disorientated.  The fight for life slowly ebbing away.  She didn’t resist anymore, allowing Mike to stand her on the chair and put the noose around her neck.  He checked his watch 5.15am, and then did the same – first kicking her chair away, then his own.


The newspapers reported it as a revenge killing.  DC Joanna Burkett had played a key part in bringing down Michael Compton Senior, notorious gangland killer.  He hung himself whilst on remand in the early hours of the 19th January last year.  Acquaintances say that Mike Junior never got over the death of his father.

Submitted: February 08, 2016

© Copyright 2020 Nicola Macbeth. All rights reserved.

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